Published: May 07, 2010 6:02 AM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Maybe all the Orlando Magic needed after a slow start was a slap in the face. Dwight Howard came back from a bloody nose to finish with 29 points and 17 rebounds, and the Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 112-98 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Vince Carter had 24 points with some big shots late and Rashard Lewis finished with 20 points, leading Orlando's 19-2 run in the fourth quarter. The Hawks avoided embarrassment but not another road playoff loss.

Al Horford led Atlanta with 24 points, and Joe Johnson had 19. After a 43-point loss in the opener, the Hawks led early but head home still searching for a way to stop the Magic's 12-game winning streak. Game 3 is Saturday in Atlanta.